LHS women get ‘mental victory’ after close soccer loss

Published 2:42 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

Landrum's Sarah Ford (#15) has to work fast to keep Christ Church Episcopal players from stealing the ball in the teams' March 31 match at Landrum. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

Landrum’s Sarah Ford (#15) has to work fast to keep Christ Church Episcopal players from stealing the ball in the teams’ March 31 match at Landrum. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

An expansive rainbow arching across the early evening sky looked promising for Landrum High School’s women’s soccer team on Thursday, March 31, as did the rain-free conditions at Cardinals’ Stadium, where the Cardinals hosted Christ Church Episcopal of Greenville.

Even the 1-1 tie at the end of regulation, with a very tough opponent, offered some hope of victory.

But, after two scoreless overtime periods, and a tied sudden-death penalty kicking sequence, the Cavaliers squeezed by with one more goal than the Cardinals, in the second sudden-death kicking period, to win the match by an official score of 1-1.

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Landrum is now 5-5-1 overall, and 4-1 in the region, their only region loss coming to Woodruff.

Against a tough and potentially dangerous opponent, Cardinal coach Cathy Riordan explained, “I played a cautious first half. We played defense.” Conservative defense, Riordan continued, is not a typical Cardinal tactic.

As the clock ticked toward the end of regulation, Riordan’s team responded with an offensive burst in which the Cardinals rushed the Cavaliers’ goal, and where Lanie Treadwell’s kick to goal was somehow turned back.

Landrum struck first, just over five minutes into the match, when Hannah Phillips scored on a penalty kick, to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. CCE scored with 7:54 left in the first half.

During much of the match, neither team appeared to dominate; it was simply a case of two very good teams, each unable to find or exploit an advantage over the other.

Though she was obviously disappointed with herself after the match, Landrum’s goaltender Ruthie Edmonds was heroic in the penalty kick phases, reading her opponents’ moves accurately, and blocking many of their attempts, while leaping in vain toward the others. They sometimes got the ball past her, but they never fooled her.

“She handled it really well,” Riordan offered.

As Christ Church Episcopal is traditionally a tough opponent for the Cardinals, Riordan remarked that this was a mental victory. After a tough 4-0 loss to region opponent Woodruff on March 29, “they (her players) came together as a team,” Riordan said, adding, “That was huge.”

She was proud of her players “scrapping it to the end.”

Also tying at 1-1, where there is no overtime, Landrum’s JV team ended its earlier evening match against CCE.

Landrum’s next match is at home against region opponent Powdersville, on April 19.